View Full Version : 750/900 XGL vs. FireGL 2/3/4/8800?

04 April 2002, 08:24 PM
How do these compare?

NVIDIA Quadro4 750XGL
NVIDIA Quadro4 900XGL
ATI Fire GL2
ATI Fire GL3
ATI Fire GL4
ATI Fire GL8800

Factors that matter are the performance and the price as well as the quality of the hardware and the drivers.

04 April 2002, 01:47 AM
OK, I'm just gonna answer this because it took me an age and a half to find any reviews and then two came along at once :rolleyes:

If you can manage to get hold of Digit magazine ( then there's a head to head on the FireGL 8800 and the Quadro 900XGL but the basic results are

"In tests, the two cards are similar in terms of performance but the NVidia card costs a lot more. It has the edge in terms of out and out speed though. However, the FireGL is no slouch and also has good throughput on larger scenes. If we were pressed though we'd choose the NVidia card simply because in both the Maya and Cinebench tests it was the faster card in moderate scenes. If your budget doesn't stretch, then the FireGL is a great card for the money".

Other points brought up were that the FireGL slows down less with denser scenes and seems to handle Lightwave 3D 7 scenes as well as (and sometimes better than) the Quadro.

Asides from this the Quadro drivers are optimised for WinXP whereas the FireGL drivers are for NT4 2K and XP. The cards were tested on Win2K since many 3D programs are yet to be certified for XP.

Cinebench OpenGL 2000 scores were 1.43 for the FireGL and 1.68 for the Quadro although it was noted that while the Quadro was much better on small scenes, it's performance dropped more rapidly with more complexity.

UK reccomended retail prices are 645 (ex VAT) for the FireGL 8800 and 1,050 (ex VAT) for the Quadro 900XGL. However, these prices are almost certainly relative as I've just spotted the FireGL card for 589.84 Inc VAT

Hope this helps :wavey:

regards, Paul

PS. Yes, ATI drivers have a bad reputation but these are being done by the FireGL team and should be rock solid.

04 April 2002, 04:52 PM
I have yet to read the article of which you speak, but I take it one may summarize the results in a draw between the two video cards? Considering that the 900XGL is around twice the price of the FGL8800 and the 750XGL, I would say the 8800 is mostly worth its price. Conversely, a battle between the 750XGL and the FGL8800 would likely have been won by the latter, since the former performs slightly worse than the 900XGL.

Additionally, the 8800 is a little cheaper than the 750XGL. By now you've probably guessed the outcome of my discussion: I shall go for the 8800 unless you stop me :). Would you have done the same if you were in my shoes? Thanks a lot for sharing your expertise!

04 April 2002, 07:01 PM
Me? I'm still waiting for the Linux support(1) and the cash but I haven't seen hide nor hair of any ELSA cards that were announced since their financial trouble was reported... but then it's hard enough just finding a place that'll sell 'workstation' cards direct to the consumer.

Me? Expertise? Nahhh :D

regards, Paul

(1) ATI claim Linux support on their site but the upshot is they just give all the specs to the DRI people and leave them to get on with it.

04 April 2002, 10:45 AM
Sorry to barge in here again, but I thought I'd provide some more info on what I expect from my yet to be bought video card. That way you may more easily give a piece of advice or simply ignore my post if it annoys you :o. The following points are crucial to me:

1) Performance in
OpenGL (DDC and occasional games.)
Direct3D (games)
2D (General windowing apps.)
video (NLE and full screen playback of MPEG-variants.)

2) Compatibility/stability, i.e. well written drivers that are not prone to crashing or interfering with other components of the computer.

3) Price. I'd rather stay in the price range of the FireGL 8800 and Quadro4 750XGL, unless a somewhat higher price would make for noticable advantages on some of the above points 1) and 2).

The most important applications are Maya and 3D Studio Max.

I read somewhere that extra care should be taken when choosing a video card for use in Houdini or Mirai, since these programs implement OpenGL in a somewhat non-standard fashion. Any thoughts on the relevance of this and what cards to get/avoid?

I also seem to remember having read in a magazine that the new (no. III) Widlcats' Direct3D drivers are flaky. Is it likely that 3Dlabs will mend this or do they ignore issues that have to do with gaming? I guess you could play games using OpenGL instead of Direct3D.

How great is the difference in image quality between the FGL8800 and the 750 XGL, would you think? Does any of the two cards have serious visual bugs that screw up the entire impression or would one actually have to know there is a difference in order to spot it?


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